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Anne Duden: A Revolution of Words

Approaches to her Fiction, Poetry and Essays

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Anne Duden’s reputation as one of the most innovative writers of her generation, established in 1982 with the experimental stories in <I>Übergang,</I> was confirmed in 1985 by <I>Das Judasschaf,</I> a novel interweaving an individual’s anguish with the cultural trauma of the German past. In her acclaimed poem cycles <I>Steinschlag </I>(1993) and <I>Hingegend </I>(1999) Duden pushes the limits of language in densely metaphoric evocations of landscapes and places of political and personal remembrance, mixing lament for ruined nature with grotesque comedy, mystic vision with horror. Duden is a distinguished practitioner of short forms. Her essays display the same intense engagement with the visual arts as informs her narrative texts. Her deep interest in music is echoed in the musicality of short prose poems. This volume presents for the first time a comprehensive collection of approaches to Duden's fiction, poetry and essays by international scholars. Topics include: the ethics and aesthetics of Duden’s engagement with German history; her constructions of female subjectivity; her criticism of western dualistic thinking with its devaluation of the body and exploitation of nature; her position within a modernist tradition with roots in the Romantic Age; the visual arts and poetic influences such as Hölderlin and Celan; the dilemmas of translating Duden’s highly individual style. Three essays on <I>Steinschlag </I>constitute the first systematic reading of this difficult, much praised cycle.

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